What is the perfect pants fit — how SHOULD should they fit? When are they too baggy; when are pants too tight? Reader K wonders…
Can you discuss proper fit of suit pants/slacks for the workplace (including trouser jeans for casual Fridays)? I can’t find anything related in the archives- I was hoping for something like the guide to hem length.
How do you find the right balance between too baggy and too fitted, especially in the thighs and butt? If they have a crease on the front, should the pants be loose enough that the crease stays creased all the way up?
I’m curious what readers say here about the perfect pants fit. For my $.02, I think this is easier to say what NOT to do than what TO do.
What is NOT “the Perfect Pants Fit”
In my mind, you want to avoid:
- creases or “smiling” across the crotch of the pants — this generally speaks to fit problems (either too tight, too long in the rise, etc)
- anything that is so tight that you have a pantyline. While there are thongs and a number of boyshorts and bikinis that are marketed as resulting in “no VPL,” a lot of times the answer here is as simple as “you need bigger pants, hon.” (That said, check out our last discussion on favorite underwear brands, as well as the best “no VPL underwear” for eliminating VPL.)
- any waistband that hangs too far below or above the belly button (at least, unintentionally) — a lot of times this is a fit issue (but I would also argue that pants that sit way below the belly button just aren’t appropriate for work).
- any crotch that hangs too low or too high. If you can see the outline of your lady parts through the pants (popularly known as “camel toe”), your pants are too tight. On the flip side, if you can grab a handful of fabric between where your body ends and your pants begin, your pants are too loose.
- Thigh/leg wise – I would say if you can’t at least pinch an inch of extra fabric on your thighs, your pants may be verging toward “too tight.” You may find that they wear poorly (they may literally be busting at the seams) and the fabric may get thin in certain places.
I’ve tried to make a little chart with pictures of pants that are too tight and too loose here:
Some styles of pants are meant to look really tight in some places (skinny jeans, for example); some pants are meant to look really loose in some places (e.g., harem pants); but then, these are generally not styles that are appropriate for most offices.
We had a bit of a discussion about which brands fit which body types before, and I’m curious to hear what readers say here — what is your body type, and which brands of pants fit it best? Which issues are unique to your body (and which tailoring alterations have you found to correct or mitigate the issues)?
Again, for my $.02, I’ve always had a curvy, hourglass-type figure, so my waist was often too big. I sometimes would get the waist tailored; a lot of times I would just wear sweaters and blouses lower on my hips, untucked. A lot of brands I avoided entirely because I always felt like they didn’t fit my curves (Theory, Ralph Lauren); others felt too long in the crotch (Talbots), while others seemed fine (Gap, Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, etc).
Ok, readers, over to you: how does a great pair of pants fit? What do you look for in a perfect pants fit, and what do you avoid? Particularly, which brands and styles best fit your body type (and what is your body type)?